Barisal Division

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Barisal Division
বরিশাল বিভাগ
Barishal Division
Division of Bangladesh
Barisal Division in Bangladesh
Barisal Division in Bangladesh
Districts of Barisal Division
Districts of Barisal Division
Coordinates: 22°30′N 90°20′E / 22.500°N 90.333°E / 22.500; 90.333Coordinates: 22°30′N 90°20′E / 22.500°N 90.333°E / 22.500; 90.333
Country  Bangladesh
Established 1797 (as Backergunge District)
Capital Barisal
 • Commissioner Mohammad Gaus
 • Total 13,225.20 km2 (5,106.28 sq mi)
Elevation 1.2 m (3.9 ft)
Population (2011 census)
 • Total 8,325,666
 • Density 630/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Barisali, Borishali
Time zone BST (UTC+6)
ISO 3166 code BD-A
Notable cricket teams Barisal Bulls, Barisal Division
Districts 6
Sub-Districts 41
Union Councils 352

Barisal Division, officially known as Barishal Division, [1] is one of the eight administrative divisions of Bangladesh. Located in the south-central part of the country, it has an area of 13,644.85 km2 (5,268.31 sq mi), and a population of 8,325,666 at the 2011 Census. It is bounded by Dhaka Division on the north, the Bay of Bengal on the south, Chittagong Division on the east and Khulna Division on the west. The administrative capital, Barisal city, lies in the Ganges (Padma) River delta on an offshoot of the Arial Khan River. Barisal division is criss-crossed by numerous rivers that earned it the nickname 'Dhan-Nodi-Khal, Ei tine Borishal' (rice, river and canal built Barisal).


Early Middle Ages

In early times the Barisal region was composed of an amalgamation of marshlands formed by the merging of islands brought into existence and built up by alluvial soils washed down the great channels of the combined Brahmaputra-Ganges-Meghna river systems.

In the early 13th century, when Muhammad bin Tughluq completely conquered eastern Bengal, Hindu chieftains from northwest Bengal were dislodged from power and they dispersed over Barisal region and founded the kingdom of Bakla.[citation needed]

During the Mughal conquest in Bengal, Hindu society was concentrated to northern and western Barisal (known as Bakarganj). Barisal's southern portion was still covered by forests and laced with lagoons. The northwest was also the only part of Bakarganj where the Hindu population exceeded Muslims in early British censuses.[citation needed]

Mughal period

Barisal saw a second wave of immigration in the late 17th and early 18th centuries . This time, it was Muslim pioneers who assumed the leading role. Establishing Dhaka as the provincial Mughal capital of the region, in the early 17th century the Barisal region (known as Sarkar Bakla to Mughals) was more accessible to businessmen and developers than at any previous time. However, piracy in this region along the coasts and rivers of southeastern Bengal by Arakanese and renegade Portuguese seamen inhibited any sustained attempts by Mughal governors to push into the Barisal forests.

After 1666, when Mughal naval forces cleared the Meghna estuary of such external threats, the Barisal interior lay ripe for colonization. Land developers acquired grants of plots of land, taluq (তালুক), from provincial authorities. Abundant and easily obtainable by purchase from the late 17th century these grants tended to be regarded by their possessors taluqdar (তালুকদার). As taluqdars brought their taluqs into agricultural production, these men passed up the land revenue through a class of non-cultivating intermediaries, or zamindar (জমিদার). Zamindars typically resided in the provincial capital, where they had ready access to the chief provincial revenue officer, or dewan (দেওয়ান).

In a second pattern of land development, Muslim pirs or Qazi went directly into uncultivated regions, organized the local population for clearing the jungles, and only later, after having established themselves as local men of influence, entered into relations with the Mughal authorities. Relationships between the religious Muslim pirs and Mughal authorities was not always harmonious, since a pir’s natural ties of authority and patronage generally lay with the masses of peasants beneath him and not with the governors and bureaucrats. For example, in remote Jhalakati Thana in the eastern Bakarganj, an 18th-century pir named Saiyid Faqir wielded enormous influence with the cultivators of the all-Muslim village of Saiyidpur, named after the pir. But a difficulty arose, noted a 1906 village survey, because “the people of this part looked upon the Fakir as their guide and did not pay rent to the Nawab.” In this situation, one Lala Chet Singh, a captain in the employ of the governor, “succeeded in persuading the Fakir to leave the country.”

British rule

In 1797 the area was established as Bakerganj District but later renamed as Barisal District. The district was upgraded into


The Greater Barisal region (Barisal District along with five other neighbouring districts) was created as Barisal Division on 1 January 1993.[2] But


Barisal was once known as the "Granary of Bengal" for its rich production. It is still an important rice producing area of the country. Since the Middle Ages, Barisal has acted as a trans-shipment center for hides, rice, dried beans, dried peas, lentils, chickpeas, and other pulses for Bengal. Bakery, textile, and pharmaceutical products are the output of a few industrial installations. There is a medical college (Sher-e Bangla Medical College) affiliated with the National University. The most famous education institution of Barisal Division is B. M. College (established in 1889). Barisal is also a river port once connecting Calcutta-Barisal-Dhaka and many other routes. Today Barisal River port is the most important hub of steamer and motor launch service of the Southern Bangladesh.

Points of interest

Sunrise at Kuakata sea beach, Barisal

Kuakata beach is the main tourist spot in the division. It is one of the two sea beaches in South Asia where both sunrise and sunset at sea can be seen.

Durga Sagor is another beautiful Dighi where a number of migratory birds arrive every winter. There are 42 upazilas in total in Barisal division: most recent upazilas are Rangabali in Patuakhali and Taltoli in Barguna.


The division is subdivided into six districts (zilas) and thence into 39 sub-districts (upazilas). Lower level administrative areas are 353 union parishads, 3,159 mouzas, 12 municipalities, 25 wards and 4,163 villages.

Name Capital Area (km²) Population
1991 Census
2001 Census
2011 Census
Barisal District Barisal 2,784.52 2,207,426 2,355,967 2,324,310
Barguna District Barguna 1,831.31 775,693 848,554 892,781
Bhola District Bhola 3,403.48 1,476,328 1,703,117 1,776,795
Jhalokati District Jhalokati 706.76 666,139 694,231 682,669
Patuakhali District Patuakhali 3,221.31 1,273,872 1,460,781 1,535,854
Pirojpur District Pirojpur 1,277.80 1,063,185 1,111,068 1,113,257
Total Division Barisal 13,255.20 7,462,643 8,173,718 8,325,666


Numerous rivers and canals force the inhabitants to use boats as the main medium of transportation. The main rivers are the Arial Khan, Bishkhali, Burishwar, Tentulia, Paira, Haringhata, Baleshwar, Kirtankhola, Katcha, and Agunmukha. It is linked by steamer with Dhaka (73 miles [117 km] to the north) and with Chittagong to the southeast. Road communication has improved significantly over last decades with the building of many bridges. The Barisal airport has regular service to Dhaka.


Academic Buildings of the University of Barisal.
Brojomohun College, established in 1889

Barisal division has one of the highest literacy rates of the country, just behind Dhaka division. One of the country's oldest educational institutions, Brojomohun College was established in 1889. The division contains Sher e Bangla Medical College and one science and technological university. Recently the government has passed a bill approving the building of the new Barisal University.

Government colleges

Total thirteen government colleges:
Most notable:

Private colleges

Eighteen private colleges:

  • Amrita Lal Dey College
  • Barisal Institute of Information Technology
  • Dr. Arifur Rahman Commerce College
  • Shah Mahmudia College
Medical college
  1. Sher-E-Bangla Medical college
  2. Patuakhali Medical College
Engineering Colleges
Government high schools

There are nineteen government high schools. Among them Barisal Zilla School, Bhola Govt. High School and Pirojpur Govt. High School (are A Grade School during the British Raj) and Barisal Sadar Girls School are three most famous schools of the Barisal Division.

Private high schools

852 Private high schools

Polytechnic institutes
Junior high schools

180 junior high schools

Private school

Ideal Cadet School and College Udayan High School, Barisal.

Law colleges

3 law colleges

Cadet colleges

1 cadet college: Barisal Cadet College

Teachers' Training Colleges

4 teachers' training colleges


1616 madrasas: Sagordi Islamia Kamil Madrash under the Islamic University Kustia, Jhalokati N S Kamil Madrasah

Primary schools
  • Government: 2,583
  • Non-government: 1,982


The religions in Barisal Division include Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, and others.

Notable residents

  • A.K. Fazlul Huq, Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq; was a Bengali lawyer, legislator and statesman in the 20th century. Huq was a major political figure in British India and later in Pakistan.
  • Abdul Gaffar Choudhury, an author, columnist, lyricist.
  • Altaf Mahmud noted Bengali film song composer. He was the final composer of the Bengali language movement song, "Amaar Bhaiyer Rakte Rangano Ekushey February".
  • Abdul Latif Singer, musician, and lyricist. He was the initial composer of the Bengali language movement song, "Amaar Bhaiyer Rakte Rangano Ekushey February".
  • Major M. A. Jalil, the commander of the Sector 9 during Bangladesh War of Liberation in 1971.
  • Mohiuddin Jahangir (Bir Shreshto), a freedom fighter
  • Mostafa Kamal (Bir Shreshto), a freedom fighter
  • Abala Bose, social reformer and wife of Jagadish Chandra Bose
  • Kusumkumari Das, poet and mother of Jibanananda Das
  • Jibanananda Das, famous poet.
  • Abu Zafar Obaidullah, poet
  • Sufia Kamal, poet
  • Ahsan Habib, Ahsan Habib was a Bangladeshi poet and literary figure in Bengali culture.
  • Mihir Sengupta, Writer
  • Aswini Kumar Dutta, social reformer and philanthropist
  • Aroj Ali Matubbar, noted astronomer and philosopher.
  • Abdur Rahman Biswas, Former President of Bangladesh
  • Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri, physicist
  • Anil Biswas (composer) noted Hindi and Bengali film song composer
  • Kamini Roy, famous poet and first woman graduate with honours in the subcontinent.
  • Kadambini Ganguly, first female physician in the entire British empire
  • Ghulam Murshid, author, scholar and journalist, based on London
  • Buddhadeb Guha, author
  • Aparajita Auddy, Aparajita Auddy, or Aparajita Adhya, is an Indian actress involved in Bengali language film and television.
  • Sushmita Sen, Sushmita Sen is an Indian actress, model and beauty queen who was crowned Femina Miss India Universe in 1994 and she later won the Miss Universe 1994 contest at the age of 18. Sen is the first Indian woman to win the competition
  • Srabanti Chatterjee, Srabanti Chatterje is a Bengali actress who appears in Indian films and has also appeared in variousBangladeshi films.
  • Hanif Sanket, Famous TV presenter, entertainer, writer and producer.
  • Mukunda Das, Mukunda Das was a Bengali poet, ballad singer, composer and patriot, who contributed to the spread of Swadeshi movement in rural Bengal.
  • Jewel Aich, Jewel Aich is a Bangladeshi magician and bansuri player. He is a veteran of the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.
  • Narayan Gangopadhyay, Narayan Gangopadhyay, also known as Narayan Ganguly, was a Bengali novelist, poet, essayist, and short story writer, and one of the leading writers of modern Bengali literature.
  • Aruna Asaf Ali, Aruna Asaf Ali, born Aruna Ganguly, was an Indian independence activist. She is widely remembered for hoisting the Indian National Congress flag at the Gowalia Tank maidan in Bombay during the Quit India Movement, 1942.
  • Parul Ghosh, was an Indian playback singer . Ghosh sang in Hindi and Bengali movies from 1935 to 1951.
  • Jyotirmoy Guhathakurta, Jyotirmoy Guhathakurta was a Bengali educator and humanist of the former East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. He was one of the Bengali intellectuals killed by the Pakistan Army during the 1971 Dhaka University massacre on the night of 25 March 1971.
  • Arundhati Devi, Arundhati Devi was an Indian actress, director and writer who is predominantly known for her work in Bengali cinema. She was also known as Arundhati Debi, as Arundhati Mukherjee and as Arundhati Mukhopadhyay.
  • Mosharraf Karim, actor
  • Mir Sabbir, actor
  • Hasan Masood, Hasan Masood is a Bangladeshi actor. He is also a former journalist and military officer.
  • Tania Ahmed, actress
  • Golam Mustafa, film actor
  • Suborna Mustafa, actress
  • Uttam Kumar, Indian film actor, director, producer, singer, composer, and playback singer who predominantly worked in Indian Cinema.
  • Mithun Chakraborty, film actor.
  • Golam Sarwar, renowned journalist and Editor.
  • Nasreen Jahan Ratna, Member of Parliament
  • Pannalal Ghosh renowned musician and flutist
  • Partha Dasgupta, eminent economist.
  • Parul Ghosh, Hindi and Bengali film singer
  • Mir Maswood Ali, mathematician and statistician
  • Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, Minister of parliamentary affairs and information, India.
  • Salman Khan, Founder of Khan Academy
  • Sohag Gazi, cricketer
  • Tapan Raychaudhuri, noted historian.
  • Tofazzal Hossain Manik Miah Founder Editor of The Daily Ittefaq.
  • Utpal Dutt (1929 – 1993), an Indian actor, director and writer-playwright.
  • Manabendra Mukhopadhyay, Music composer & a famous singer of Nazrul geeti
  • Sourav Ganguly, Former Indian cricketer and captain of the Indian national team.
  • Bazlur Rahman, Sangbad editor Bazlur Rahman, was a beacon of Bangladesh journalism.
  • Nachiketa Chakraborty, Indian Bengali singer-songwriter and composer.
  • Rashed Khan Menon, Rashed Khan Menon is a Bangladeshi politician. He is the chairman of Workers Party of Bangladesh and was elected as the Member of Parliament for Dhaka-8 in the 2008 general election. Menon was re-elected at the 2014 general elections.
  • Amir Hossain Amu, Amir Hossain Amu is a Bangladeshi politician and senior leader in the Bangladesh Awami League.
  • Tofail Ahmed, Tofail Ahmed is a Bangladeshi politician. He served as a member of parliament and as a Minister of Commerce and Minister of Industries of the Government of Bangladesh.
  • Anwar Hossain Manju, Anwar Hossain Manju is a Bangladeshi politician who is a member of Jatiyo Sangshad representing Pirojpur-2 parliamentary constituency and the current Minister of Water Resources.
  • Mainul Hosein, Mainul Hosein is a lawyer and the printer and publisher of daily newspaper The New Nation. Previously, he was the chairman of the editorial board of The Daily Ittefaq .
  • Kamal Hossain, Kamal Hossain is a Bangladeshi jurist, statesman and freedom fighter. After the independence of Bangladesh, he served as Minister of Law from 1972 to 1973 and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1973 to 1975.
  • Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, Delwar Hossain Sayeedi is a Bangladeshi Islamic scholar, speaker and politician and convicted war criminal of the Bangladesh liberation war. He was a former Member of parliament of the Parliament of Bangladesh from 1996 to 2008.
  • Ziauddin Ahmed (Bangladesh), Major. Ziauddin Ahmed was a war hero, freedom fighter and sub-sector Commander under Sector 9 of Mukti Bahini during Bangladesh liberation war in 1971.


  1. ^ Mahadi Al Hasnat (2 April 2018). "Mixed reactions as govt changes English spellings of 5 district names". Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved 8 April 2018. 
  2. ^ "The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204–1760". Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  3. ^ "". Retrieved 2013-02-15. 


Census figures for 1991, 2001 and 2011 are from Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Population Census Wing. The 2011 Census figures are based on preliminary results.

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